The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has issued an order banning crypto payments. That is, with effect from April 1, it becomes illegal to pay for goods and services using crypto.
Thai SEC Highlights Reasons For Placing Ban on Crypto Payments
According to the Wednesday statement, the regulator claims that crypto payments is a threat to the stability of the country’s ‘highly efficient’ payment system. But there’s also an investor protection angle to the ban. As the statement suggests, cryptocurrencies powered by public blockchains do not adhere to security standards. Surely, this means that investor protection becomes even more difficult. Additionally, the regulator also believes that pricing goods in crypto will prevent the Bank of Thailand from helping financial institutions during liquidity crises.
Meanwhile, the volatility of cryptocurrencies is certainly one of the main reasons behind the ban decision. As the SEC says;
Even though some crypto payment providers instantly convert digital assets to the baht, there are still hidden costs involved in such a transaction.
Moreover, there is also the risk of digital assets being used for money laundering purposes and terrorism financing.
It’s Still Legal To Invest In Crypto — Thai SEC
Interestingly, the crypto payments ban may not be an indicator of an all-out war against crypto. The Thai SEC has insisted that investing in digital assets and currencies remains fully legal.
Also, Thailand has always confirmed its open-minded approach and support towards innovation related to blockchain technology. Furthermore, Thailand is one of the forerunners in the central bank digital currency (CBDC) race.
As at January 2022, Thais hold about $3.4 billion worth of cryptocurrencies.